CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Cassava growers and stakeholders across the country convened in Lubao, Pampanga for a five-day consultative meeting to discuss the status and direction of the industry.
This aims to determine the demand and gather inputs for the updating of the cassava industry roadmap; and identify and address issues and concerns on production, processing, and marketing of cassava in the country.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Central Luzon Regional Technical Director Eduardo Lapuz, Jr. said the meeting will greatly contribute to the cassava industry.
“We know that challenges facing the agricultural sector including the Covid-19 pandemic, African Swine Fever, the increase in fertilizer prices, and the war in Ukraine, has led to an increase in the price of animal feeds. That is why this meeting will help a lot to somehow lower the price of feeds,” he said.
For his part, National Corn Program Director Milo Delos Reyes explained the rationale of the activity and hoped that towards the end, they would be able to determine the potential area for cassava.
“We are here because we want to hear from the private sectors what your needs are so that we can include them in the roadmap. We want to have competitive, resilient, and prosperous farmers and stakeholders and to transform the cassava industry value chains to be productive, competitive, resilient, and profitable by providing science-based solutions, adequate support services, and collaborative partnerships,” Delos Reyes said.
He also called on the group to work together in coming up with the cassava industry roadmap that will justify the budget allocation for the crop.
During the event, National Corn Program Technical Consultant Candido Damo gave an update on the status and direction of the cassava industry while Richard Torno, a top cassava grower from Central Luzon, shared the best practices for cassava production.
Meanwhile, DA Undersecretary for Attached Agencies Rodolfo Vicerra said the cassava industry is one of the industries in the country right now with the biggest potential.
“I see cassava as a promising industry. By simply following the example of what Dr. Torno and his farmers did, we should be able to multiply our cassava production in our country. When we increase cassava harvest, we also help our farmers earn more,” he said.
With this, the National Corn Program personnel presented to the group the cassava industry roadmap which generated comments and suggestions from the participants.
Stakeholders from private sectors also presented the potential demand and procurement scheme on cassava for feeds.